Face-altering cosmetic procedures — the irresistible nectar of showbiz, late-night talk show celebrity guests and part-time drag queens like me.
Fortunately, those of us in Japan are uniquely positioned between two opposing hot spots of the beauty industry: Seoul and Tokyo.
South Korea is the world’s No. 1 consumer of elective plastic surgeries, with one study finding that as many as 31% of women between ages 30 and 39 have had a procedure. The country is a popular destination for travelers seeking cheap and relatively safe treatments, referred to commonly as “fast beauty” clinics. Friends in Seoul have told me they know of clinics where I could get Botox at 9,030 won (about ¥1,000) per injection — an option I was seriously considering, except for the cost and effort of planning a round trip to South Korea.